Pupscan Project

Tel: UK 0044 (0) 16974 72312
Mob: 0044 (0) 7500 311900
Tel: Ire 00353 (0) 86 2345460
Email: info@pupscanproject.org



Until a diagnosis is given with an x ray, dogs will continue to be taken out from breeding, many unnecessarily. There are multiple non-genetic causes that can result in abnormal joint development, but unfortunately the present screening methods do not take account of these. The Pupscan Research Project is working hard with Veterinary and Human Orthopaedic Specialists and Geneticists to bring awareness to breeders and Kennel Clubs in the hope that things will change and in the future breeders will be able to make informed choices based on a Diagnosis rather than just a Score.

PET OBESITY 10 YEARS ON 2009 - 2019

One of the most common issues with overweight dogs is that weight places extra stress on their bones and joints. 

This can be painful and lead to hip problems

Click here for the latest report by the Pet Food Manufacturers Association on the rise in canine obesity 




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"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated".....Mahatma Ghandi

* Have you ever wondered why Hip scores don’t seem to getting any better accross the breeds ?

* What do the scores really tell us about the state of the hips ? 

* When is a number just a number and not a diagnosis? 

* Are breeds losing out on genetic diversity because of hip scores ?

* As a breeder can you safeguard yourself from an owner demanding redress for a dog with HD which may not be genetic ?

* Just how much is HD caused by genetics ?
* What can be the other causes ?

* Are developmental stages different in each breed and what are the sensitive times for each ?

The Pupscan Project was established in early 2015 to research and identify the factors leading to abnormal joint development in dogs. 

The project aims to separate predominantly genetic causes from the many acquired conditions that can damage joints.

Using the most modern diagnostic Ultrasound technology and a precise measurement analysis of the whole hip, a non-invasive imaging technique has been developed to evaluate puppies in the early months of life in order to establish the presence, or absence, of normal healthy joint development



The amount of ultrasound scanning that we will be able to do will be reduced until further notice.
This is whilst the data accumulated through four years of hard work is being analysed and fully validated in preparation for the launch of our new service in January 2020.
We would like to thank everyone who has taken part so far.
In the meantime, please feel free to contact us about scanning, but please take into account this information.

Our mission is to research, identify and separate predominantly genetic causes from the many acquired conditions that can affect normal healthy hip joint development 

To bring a scientifically vallidated, robust and
non-invasive screening method, with a diagnosis, to breeders, so they can make an informed choice on their breeding stock 


Once your litter is born and you have booked an appointment for scanning you will receive a form for completion.


Once your litter has been scanned and the data collected, and only when all data has been signed off can a Pupscan ID number be assigned to each individual puppy.
This unique ID number is designed to enable identification and verification that the puppy has been scanned. It will not be possible to scientifically validate the scan findings without all other data that Pupscan request.

Without an ID number it will not be possible to support the claim that a puppy has been scanned as that puppy will not be recorded on the database.
A Certificate will be issued confirming the ID number.

It is important to recognize that failure to complete and return the forms will result in no ID Certificate being issued.

Pupscan Seminar Dublin 7th July, 2019

Photo L-R:  Prof Alan Fahey (Head Geneticist UCD), Jim Stephens (Chairman Health & Welfare Committe IKC), Prof Vivian Gath (School of Veterinary Sciences, UCD), Paul Kelly (Orthopaedic Specialist Veterinary Surgeon), Bodo Backmo (Swedish Kennel Club Investigation Team on HD), Gordon Maclellan MB BS FRCS (Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon), Pamela Maclellen (CEO Pupscan Research Project)

A  successful Pupscan Seminar was held on 7th July at the IKC National Show Centre in Dublin, thanks to everyone who attended, you were a lovely audience.

The presentation kicked off with an introduction by Pamela Maclellen on the Pupscan Project which is researching the processes that lead to faulty hip development.

It was a pleasure to welcome Mr Bodo Backmo from the Swedish Kennel Club Investigation Team on HD who spoke about the extensive research he had recently completed and submitted to the SKK, and his interesting findings on the increasing incidence of HD in Sweden.

Mr Jim Stephens, Chairman of the Health & Welfare Committee of the Irish Kennel Club told of the support of the IKC towards the Pupscan Project and its efforts to promote it to the FCI.

Mr Gordon Maclellan MB BS FRCS (Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon) gave a presentation on the many causes, besides genetic, that can cause abnormal hip joint development.

Prof Alan Fahey, Head Geneticist, UCD) spoke about phenotype, genotype, traits and gene influence and how the environment can have an effect on how genes can be expressed.

Prof Vivian Gath (Veterinary Science Centre, UCD) presented on nutritional and environmental impact on growth and development.

Finally Mrs Maclellan ended the day with a presentation on how the scanning procedure and X Ray Referral Scheme would now move forward given the encouraging global interest and she acknowledged the continued and growing support of breeders and indeed the Irish Kennel Club. 

A lively Q & A session took place afterwards where the above speakers and also Veterinary Orthopaedic Surgeon Paul Kelly answered many questions from the audience.

Pupscan launch X Ray Referral Service

19 October 2018:  Acquired conditions may be responsible for poor hip or elbow scores and these processes MUST be considered before diagnosing a genetic abnormality.

The Pupscan X Ray Referral Service has been set up at the request of breeders and owners who wish to know if their dog has a disorder of joint development that is potentially genetic or acquired.  The service, which will help fund the Pupscan Research Project, is designed to allow breeders to make their own informed decision whether to include or exclude a dog from their breeding programme.

The Referral Panel consists of both veterinary and human orthopaedic specialists, who will review and report on submitted x rays and work with the breeder/owner and their vet to assist in any decision that may be required for the benefit of the dog. 

More information here

First litter of Wolf Dogs Scanned

18 September 2018:  The Pupscan Team had the great pleasure of scanning these beautiful Wolf Dog puppies. We had a great time meeting the parents, the male of which is just magnificent, he also starred in a few films. He is enormous but what a charismatic dog we could have admired him all day long.

Orthopaedic Specialist Vet Paul Kelly joins the Pupscan Team

August, 2018:  The Pupscan Research Project are delighted to welcome Dr. Paul Kelly MVB to the team, who will be a major contributor to the research going forward. 

Paul, is based in Ratoath, Co Meath, Ireland where he runs a general veterinary practice, specialising in Orthopaedics and Traumatology UCM. He qualified as a vet at University College Dublin in 1989 and gained his specialist title at the University Complutense in Madrid.







2018 ......a busy year!

2018 was a busy year for the team. To date we have scanned 63 different breeds ranging from Great Danes down to Mini Dachshunds, giving a total of over 3,000 puppies scanned with more litters booked in over the coming weeks. 
it has been fantastic to see the belief in and support for the project from breeders and professionals alike. 
The team has clocked up many thousands of miles around the UK and Ireland and we extend a big thank you to all the breeders and Breed Clubs for their generous donations
We have forged a great working relationship with both the Irish Kennel Club and University College Dublin and welcome Dr Paul Kelly, Orthopaedic Specialist who has joined the team to give his invaluable expertise and knowledge to the project.
To all those puppies who have been ‘Pupscanned’ to date we look forward to following your progress throughout your life in your new homes and wish you many years of health and happiness. 
The Pupscan Team.